William Cameron, Schoolmaster and Songwriter

William Cameron, Schoolmaster and Songwriter

We have two famous residents in Whitockbrae – Schoolmaster and songwriter William Cameron, and our very own Davie Kerr!

William Cameron taught at Armadale’s first school at the age of 18 in 1819 until 1833 when he moved to Glasgow to become a pawnbroker.

The school was located where Coia’s Fish and Chip shop is now on West Main St.

While resident in Armadale, Cameron wrote poems about some of the Harvie sisters who’s father, Thomas, was the miller (where Mill Garden Centre now stands). His strong attraction to them seemed to be unrequited. Despite this, and even though he had left Armadale four years previously, in 1837 he wrote a global hit, Jessie o’ the Dell, about Jessie Harvie.

Among his other hits were ‘Morag’s Faery Glen‘, and ‘Meet me on the Gowan Lea’.

Map of Colinshiel Village 1854

Map showing Whitockbrae 1854

Whitockbrae at the beginning of the 20th Century

Whitockbrae at the beginning of the 20th Century